Series: With Me #1
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform on October 24 2012
Genres: Contemporary, Friendship, Love & Romance, Romance, Young Adult
Source: I Bought It
Ashton Summers is on her way to becoming the most popular girl in school and nothing-or no one-is going to stand in her way. Especially not Luca Byron, her freak neighbor, with his tattoos, loud music, and distracting green eyes.
Luca Byron has three goals in life: get through high school with a low profile, make sure his garage band becomes something more than a hobby, and try to forget about his insufferable ex-best friend, Ashton, who he can't get out of his mind.
The last thing Ashton and Luca want to do is rekindle their friendship, but when Ashton takes a tumble down the social ladder, Luca-with his new makeover-is the only one who can help her rise up again by pretending to be her boyfriend.
At first, being together is unbearable and annoying, but things start to change as Ashton and Luca discover the real reasons they drifted apart seven years ago. Now, keeping their hands off each other seems impossible.
Impossible is the story of two very different teenagers. Ashton Summers is your typical pretty and popular cheerleader. She seems to have it all going for her. Luca Byron is the boy who lives next door. He is a rocker, covered in tattoos, with dyed black hair and eyeliner. The two have been neighbours their whole lives and used to be best friends until a tragic event tore them apart.
The two of them haven’t really spoken in over seven years and they have run in very different crowds. Ashton hangs out with the popular crowd, whereas Luca is much more comfortable with the ‘freaks’. However, their lives soon reconnect when circumstances force Ashton to seek out Luca’s help. Her so-called best friend Kance has turned everyone against her (including stealing the boy that Ashton has had a crush on for years) and now Ashton finds herself at the bottom of the popularity rung once more. Determined to gain back her status, Ashton realises she could use Luca to propel her back into the limelight again (after he has an image change it is apparent that Luca is really super hot).
Luca’s motives are slightly different. He cannot stand the way Ashton now acts and is at first determined to take her down a peg or two. However, he cannot forget the girl she used to be, the one who was his best friend in the whole world. He becomes determined to peel back the layers to see if his childhood friend still exists behind the snotty, superior mean girl. Sparks soon fly and it is evident that they are both really attracted to each other but will they be able to overcome the obstacle set in their path?
I enjoyed this novel but I did find Ashton a bit hard to like at first though she did mellow out later on. I find I cannot really take to characters who bully others and Ashton is a bully. She does change her ways and later apologises to the girl who she was picking on earlier in the book, but I never really got the impression that she was all that sorry for how she acted. Luca on the other hand I really loved and I enjoyed the chapters from his perspective much more than Ashton’s point of view. Hidden behind the ‘bad boy’ getup was a really sweet and stand-up guy with a good heart. He sees the best in Ashton and really helps to break her out of the shallow mold that she has been caught up in. I also liked his group of friends, particularly Eddie, and wished they had gotten a bit more spotlight.
Despite my misgivings about Ashton, I really did like the story. I couldn’t help but notice the similarities between this and the film ‘Drive Me Crazy’ but the author Komal Kant has stated that the movie was the inspiration for this book so that would explain it. Overall, an entertaining, quick read.